Bruins win in shootout, snap losing streak

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Bruins win in shootout, snap losing streak

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A late game-tying short-handed goal, a rookie stepping up, and a composed backup goalie filling in for one of the best in the game all have the Boston Bruins confident they can get back to winning.

With starter Tom Thomas resting, Tuukka Rask made 34 saves and stopped all three Columbus attempts in the shootout, and rookie Tyler Seguin scored the lone shootout goal to lift the Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

The win ended the Bruins' season-worst four-game losing streak.

"Definitely, it was one of his biggest and best games of the year," Boston coach Claude Julien said of Rask. "He was very poised and I thought he did a great job in the shootout."

Seguin, the No. 2 selection in the 2010 draft, didn't shy away from his opportunity, either. He confidently faked Steve Mason with a left-to-right move and scored inside the right post.

"I felt great," said Seguin, who was scratched the last two games. "It's definitely nice to get back in the lineup and contribute to the team."

David Krejci and Rich Peverly - who tied it with just over 5 minutes left on an impressive individual effort - scored regulation goals for Boston, which won the 2,800th game in the history of the 87-year-old franchise.

"It was nice to see that even though they took the lead in the third we found a way to get back into it," Julien said. "It was a big goal there by Peverly, the short-handed goal."

The Bruins, who won in Columbus for the first time since 2003, entered as the third seed in the Eastern Conference, only two points ahead of Northeast Division rival Montreal.

Grant Clitsome and Scottie Upshall scored for Columbus, which blew two one-goal leads and has lost eight of nine, all but falling out of playoff contention in the West. Mason finished with 27 saves.

"We're as happy as you can be without getting two points," Blue Jackets rookie coach Scott Arniel said. "I said to the coaches that was one of our best games in probably two or three weeks."

Both teams had a flurry of chances in overtime. Boston peppered Mason in the first 30 seconds, leading to a Columbus timeout. With just over a minute left, Columbus' Antoine Vermette and Jan Hejda were hammering away around the goal-mouth, but Rask didn't budge.

Tied 1-1 midway through the third period, Rask seemed to overplay a scoring chance by R.J. Umberger, sliding far out of his crease. The puck came to Upshall, who slotted it home for his 20th, extending his career high. The goal was his fourth in eight games since being acquired by Columbus at the trade deadline.

"It was a game that was right there for us to get," Upshall said. "I thought we did a lot of great things."

Looking to capitalize on a power play moments later, Derick Brassard gave the puck away just inside the attacking zone. Peverly charged down the ice, turned defenseman Fedor Tyutin inside out, and stuffed the puck between Mason's legs 2 minutes after Upshall's goal.

Right off the ensuing center-ice faceoff, Columbus cut in and Antoine Vermette rung a shot off the right post on a quick pass from Upshall.

In an up-tempo first two periods, Clitsome converted a slap shot through traffic with under a minute left.

Krejci pulled the Bruins even at 12:20 of the second, deflecting a blast from Chara, who was mildy booed throughout the game. Last week, Chara's controversial hit on Montreal's Max Pacioretty sidelined the forward with a fractured vertebrae and severe concussion.

"Both teams had their opportunities and obviously they got the better of us in the shootout," Mason said.

Notes: The Bruins' all-time franchise record is 2,800-1,722-791-99 . . . Boston improved to 2-5 in shootouts, while Columbus dropped to 4-6 . . . Boston's Mark Recchi, the active leader in games, assists and points, moved past Dave Andreychuk into fifth place on the NHL's all-time games played list . . . The Bruins are 7-7-2 this season against the Western Conference. Columbus is 10-2-2 against the East . . . Boston's Patrice Bergeron, third on the team in scoring, has been held without a point in seven straight games, a season high . . . Nash has not scored in eight games, one short of his longest stretch without goal.

Morning Skate: Not a dry eye as Canucks draftee gets the call

Morning Skate: Not a dry eye as Canucks draftee gets the call

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while getting ready to check out GLOW on Netflix.

*This video of a Vancouver Canucks draft pick tearing up while watching the video of his brother celebrating him getting picked is all that is right with the NHL Draft.  

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Adrian Dater has Avs first-round pick Cale Makar talking about his hockey background, and why it doesn’t matter.

*The Calgary Flames are excited about their prospects and the pieces they were able to acquire last weekend.

*The Washington Capitals have re-signed Brett Connolly for a couple of years at short money and he appears to have found a home in DC.

*The Chicago Blackhawks are still in talks with Marian Hossa about how to resolve his contract and the allergic skin condition that might have prematurely ended his hockey career.

*Will the Tampa Bay sports go through a dry spell when it comes to Hall of Fame athletes now that former Lighting forward Dave Andreychuk has been called to the Hockey Hall?

*It looks like young Pierre Luc Dubois will be put in a position to contribute with the Columbus Blue Jackets this season.

*Alex Prewitt has a preview of the NHL free agency period and the stress levels that many players go through in it.

*For something completely different: This video of Drake and Will Ferrell hoop handshakes was pretty solid, and funny.

 

Haggerty: Jacobs may not be beloved, but he's Hall of Fame-worthy

Haggerty: Jacobs may not be beloved, but he's Hall of Fame-worthy

If it was based solely on his 42 years as owner of the Boston Bruins, it might be debatable as to whether Jeremy Jacobs would have been selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Bruins have won one championship and been to a handful of Stanley Cup Finals during Jacobs' long stewardship, of course. They also enjoyed the longest running playoff streak (29 years) in NHL history, though it began before he purchased the franchise. Altogether, the B's have won one Cup, four conference championships, two Presidents' trophies, 15 division championships, and 35 Stanley Cup playoff berths during the Jacobs Era.

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But Jacobs didn't make the Hall of Fame solely on his accomplishments with the Bruins organization. He's being inducted in the "builder” category, which is defined as "coaching, managerial or executive ability, or ability in another significant off-ice role, sportsmanship, character and contributions to his or her organization or organizations and to the game of hockey in general.”  In addition to overseeing the Bruins over the last four-plus decades, he has been a power broker at the league level for just as long.

"I am flattered to be included in with this great group of 2017 inductees, and I am humbled to be included with the legends of hockey that went before me,” said Jacobs. "Owning the Boston Bruins for 42 years has been one of the most rewarding honors of my life. I am indebted to our team's leaders and players, but most of all, to our fans, for giving me a broad and deeply appreciative perspective of the game."

The 2011 Stanley Cup victory was the overriding on-ice moment in his stewardship of the team, and the Jacobs family has had a major, altruistic impact in Boston. No one should overlook the Boston Bruins Foundation, which has touched so many lives with the $28 million that's been awarded to those in need since its inception in 1993.

Unfortunately, Jacobs will always have a reputation with a large portion of the Bruins fan base that his ownership wasn't willing to spend enough for truly competitive teams. At times he was viewed as an absentee owner living in Buffalo, overseeing the team from afar while Harry Sinden ran the operation. Those fans hold that grudge even today, despite the Bruins consistently spending to the salary cap ceiling while fielding competitive teams. They view Monday's Hall of Fame announcement as something akin to Montgomery Burns being inducted into the Springfield Hall of Fame.

Cam Neely disagrees.

"As a player, I knew of Mr. Jacobs' passion for the Bruins,” said Neely, who has served as Bruins president for nearly a decade after a Hall of Fame playing career highlighted by his years in Boston. "Over the past decade while in the front office, I have seen firsthand his dedication to winning, by consistently providing the Bruins the resources that we need to compete for Stanley Cup Championships and also his unmatched commitment to growing the game of hockey."

That commitment to hockey is a key factor in Jacobs' Hall of Fame selection.

Jacobs was unanimously voted in as chairman of the NHL Board of Governors in 2007, and he's been a major driving force in each of the last couple of oft-contentious CBA negotiations. While Jacobs clearly had a hand in the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season due to a labor dispute, and in the lockout-shortened season of 2013, those CBA negotiations ultimately led to the imposition of a salary cap and a pathway for small-market NHL teams to survive as the cost of doing hockey business continues to go up.

Without Jacobs as an often hawkish, hard-line owner, there's a chance that a team like the Western Conference champion Nashville Predators might not have been able to survive in the NHL, and it's highly doubtful they'd be able to be as competitive as they are now if teams like Toronto, New York and Chicago could outspend everybody else. So there's no denying the seismic impact that Jacobs made at the league-wide level with his leadership and commitment to growing the game, and that the NHL is better off for the battles waged in collective bargaining while he's been in a position of power.

If you polled every single Bruins fan on the street, it's unlikely he'd be a populist choice for the Hall of Fame. The lean budgetary years durinhg the playing days of Neely, Ray Bourque and others will always be part of the Spoked B history. Some will hold those grudges forever, which is part of makes us who we are as a fan base.

But faithful, rabid fans continue to stream into TD Garden, continue to spend money to support their favorite hockey team, and continue to provide the kind of support that's led to a 338-game home sellout streak. It's a sign Jacobs and Bruins ownership continue to do things very right, even if we shouldn't be scheduling any popularity contests anytime soon.